Glaucoma Treatment, Medications, & Surgery
Your Role in Glaucoma Treatment
Treating glaucoma successfully is a team effort between you and your eye doctor. Your ophthalmologist will prescribe your glaucoma treatment. It is up to you to follow your doctor’s instructions and use your eye drops.
Once you are taking medications for glaucoma, your ophthalmologist will want to see you regularly. You can expect to visit your ophthalmologist about every 3–6 months. However, this can vary depending on your treatment needs.
If you have any questions about your eyes or your treatment, talk to your ophthalmologist. The glaucoma specialists at Rock Hill Eye Center are always here to help you understand more about your condition.
Glaucoma is usually controlled with eye drops. Used every day, these drops lower eye pressure. Some do this by reducing the amount of aqueous fluid the eye makes. Others reduce pressure by helping fluid flow better through the drainage angle.
Glaucoma medications can help you keep your vision, but they may also produce side effects. Some eye drops may cause:
- A stinging or itching sensation
- Red eyes or red skin around the eyes
- Changes in your pulse and heartbeat
- Changes in your energy level
- Changes in breathing (especially if you have asthma or breathing problems)
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Eyelash growth
- Changes in your eye color, the skin around your eyes or eyelid appearance.
All medications can have side effects. Some drugs can cause problems when taken with other medications. It is important to give your doctor a list of every medicine you take regularly. Be sure to talk with your ophthalmologist if you think you may have side effects from glaucoma medicine.
Never change or stop taking your glaucoma medications without talking to your ophthalmologist. If you are about to run out of your medication, ask your ophthalmologist if you should have your prescription refilled.
Glaucoma Laser Surgery
- Trabeculoplasty: This surgery is for people who have open-angle glaucoma. The eye surgeon uses a laser to make the drainage angle work better. That way fluid flows out properly and eye pressure is reduced.
- Iridotomy: This is for people who have angle-closure glaucoma. The ophthalmologist uses a laser to create a tiny hole in the iris. This hole helps fluid flow to the drainage angle.
Operating Room Surgery
- Trabeculectomy: The eye surgeon creates a tiny flap in the sclera (white of your eye). He or she will also create a bubble (like a pocket) in the conjunctiva called a filtration bleb. It is usually hidden under the upper eyelid and cannot be seen. Aqueous humor will be able to drain out of the eye through the flap and into the bleb. In the bleb, the fluid is absorbed by tissue around your eye, lowering eye pressure.
- Glaucoma drainage devices: Your ophthalmologist may implant a tiny drainage tube in your eye. It sends the fluid to a collection area (called a reservoir). Your eye surgeon creates this reservoir beneath the conjunctiva (the thin membrane that covers the inside of your eyelids and white part of your eye). The fluid is then absorbed into nearby blood vessels.
Additional Glaucoma Services
Find out more about glaucoma, it's symptoms and treatments.
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty
Selective laser trabeculoplasty is a treatment to lower pressure in glaucoma patients.
Laser iridotomy is a treatment that treats chronic and acute angle-closure glaucoma.
XEN Gel Implant
The XEN Gel Stent is an eye implant used to lower intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients.
Filtration surgery reduces the intraocular eye pressure inside the patient’s eye.